US customs finds unwanted pests, plants at Miami ports

MIAMI (AP) — Federal customs officials are regularly intercepting unwanted pests and invasive plants at Miami’s airport and seaport, including insects never before spotted in the U.S.

In June, Customs and Border Protection inspectors found a so-called “click” beetle in a shipment of ginger from Ecuador. The beetle — named for the distinctive sound it makes — produces larvae that can be harmful to agriculture by eating plant roots.

Earlier this month, CBP discovered an insect known as a “squash bug” commonly found in Ecuador and Peru in a shipment of South American cut flowers. Although this insect’s threat to agriculture isn’t known, officials say it previously had not been spotted in this country.

At the airport on July 9, CBP identified about 200 seeds of a noxious aquatic plant that chokes waterways. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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